Tyvek flammable?

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On Tue, 23 Nov 2004 00:12:54 +0000 (UTC), John Thomas
| | |> Is Tyvek flammable? |> |> I have a wall in my shop with uncovered fiberglass insulation. I |> don't want to drywall it right now, and I know plastic burns very |> quickly. Tyvek was a thought to cover it. |> |> Barry |> | |Barry, | |Try spelunking around tyvek.com ... I looked quickly and didn't see |flammability. | |But, since it's used to wrap houses, I'd hope it's not flammable.
Hmmm. We wrap them with *wood* and tar paper (building felt) too :)
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Um. The styrofoam insulation, the vinyl siding, the wood studs, the OSB floors, the plastic finish on the hardwood floors...believe me, there's plenty of fuel load in modern house construction. I'd be shocked if Tyvek _didn't_ burn, since it's a plastic fiber after all.
Dave Hinz
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wrote:

And that doesn't even take into consideration all of the super combustibles in common household furnishings. If you've ever been in a house fire you'll know that it's that stuff that burns faster and with more toxins than anything used to build the house.
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Yup, I've been in more than a couple of 'em, and the smoke gets black, the flames get orange-red, and the heat is impressive even through fire gear. Can't tell about the stink, though.
Put it this way...if the structure fire gets out through the drywall, through the insulation, and to the tyvek, you're screwed in a big way already. Flammability of it isn't much compared to everything else.
Dave Hinz
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Our rich mutual uncle has his own "code" in remodeling, as we discovered when we moved two walls in our work area once.
First, we had to have steel studs, and this at a time when they were relatively uncommon. Meant we had to run a lot of wire protection, too. We then found that we had to have 5/8" sheetrock to meet fire codes- stud type unspecified, and special 20-minute rated paneling if we wanted wainscoting.
After protecting our steel studs from the wires with metal, from outside flame with 45 and 20 minute cover, we than put down polypropylene carpeting to ensure that humans would be thoroughly dead before any damage could occur to the structure.

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Hey Dave, don't be shocked. Just because it is plastic, it does not have to burn. Just last week as was at a seminar about flame retardants in plastic material. In the US and Japan, home appliances, TV, etc must be made of flame retardant material. Not so in Europe where some countries actually ban them. (In the US, 2 of every million TVs caused a fire while in Sweden it is 178 out of a million. More and more serious results)
Grab a piece of that styrofoam insualtion and put your torch to it. See how it burns? Now take the torch away? Surprise! the fire goes out. Ed
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If it meeds te buildingcodes,it is probably NOT flammable.
You can buy plastic sheeting in Home Depot that is not flammable. Keep in mind that it may burn if in contact with an open flame, but if the flame is removed it will go out. Codes generally require some sort of 15 minute shield covering covering anyway.
I just spent two hours last Saturday listening to a presentation about bromides used in plastics for fire prevention. Most of the day was spent on equally exciting subjects, but it gets my wife and me to Las Vegas for four days of all expenses paid "work" Ed
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As you have discovered, it will burn if conditions are right. I think (don't know for sure) that the fumes would be nasty. Things made to go on the outside of the house have different flamibility standards than those things that go inside of the drywalled portions f your house.
Actually, fiberglass insulation is not that bad. Are you sure you need to cover it at all?
Look at corrugated cardboard, ya sure it'll burn, but are the fumes as bad as what comes out of burning tyvek?
And you could use boxes obtained from ... wherever. Hardware, liquor stores, the Borg. Much less money than buying a roll of Tyvek. staple it up, trim with a stanley knife.
Do you do a lot of grinding? welding? or just woodwork?
-Dan V.
On Mon, 22 Nov 2004 23:53:01 GMT, Ba r r y

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On Tue, 23 Nov 2004 00:24:00 -0500, Dan Valleskey <valleskey at comcast dot net> wrote:

It's collecting dust and the cats rub the bottom of it.
I also have it on the ceiling( first floor's floor underside), causing it to rain fiberglass. I was planning to the remove the ceiling batts. Compared to similar houses in the 'hood, I don't think the ceiling makes much difference. They don't have the insulation. The amount of fiberglass in the shop air filter and on the light fixtures is amazing.
Since none of it has vapor barriers, I may go with the fire retardant plastic that Ed mentioned. I'd like to put a ceiling in, but there is lots of plumbing and wiring to deal with, and I'd rather not lose any more height.

Mostly wood work and finishing.
Barry
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Hey Barry - I was thinking - do you necessarily need a vapor barrier? That's mostly for the living area of houses where a lot of vapor is generated from things like cooking, showers, etc. You mentioned you have a furnace out there and some types of heat (depending on what you are calling a furnace) do generate vapor. If yours is a real furnace with proper venting to the outside, and is an occasional use device, I don't know that I'd really worry about vapor from combustion though. How humid does it get? If your exposed fiberglass does not get wet now, it's not going to get wet with any sort of covering over it. I'd leave the fiberglass in place. It does deaden sound somewhat - no a lot, but somewhat. It does keep your space at a somewhat more consistent temperature than without. I would cover it over with anything handy. Even sheet plastic if that's all I could get. I'd look around for rolls of burlap. It breathes, it's very durable. It won't cause a problem going over it when you finally decide to rock it. As far as your fire retardant factor is concerned, you need to look at your ceiling material to provide that. Most places are going to require 5/8in sheetrock in a garage space by fire code, but if this is not subject to that code, then 1/2 will likely be fine. You're not really going to gain any significant amount of fire retardant character out of any material that you just stretch across the joists and the insulation. It's all about heat and anything you stretch up there isn't going to present enough of a barrier to heat to amount to squat. That's why you need to think solid material... eventually.
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On Tue, 23 Nov 2004 14:26:49 GMT, "Mike Marlow"

It's the exposed wall of a walk-out basement. The furnace is the house heat / hot water, and the basement also contains laundry facilities.
Barry
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On Tue, 23 Nov 2004 12:12:43 GMT, Ba r r y
|On Tue, 23 Nov 2004 00:24:00 -0500, Dan Valleskey <valleskey at |comcast dot net> wrote: | |>Actually, fiberglass insulation is not that bad. Are you sure you |>need to cover it at all?| |It's collecting dust and the cats rub the bottom of it. | |I also have it on the ceiling( first floor's floor underside), causing |it to rain fiberglass. I was planning to the remove the ceiling |batts. Compared to similar houses in the 'hood, I don't think the |ceiling makes much difference. They don't have the insulation. The |amount of fiberglass in the shop air filter and on the light fixtures |is amazing.
Ouch. Not trying to be a smart ass here, but imagine what your lungs look like. The fiberglass is probably helping with sound insulation so you might want to consider that before taking it down. But in the overall scheme of things, wouldn't it just be better to bite the bullet and hire a drywall contractor to deal with the problem.
Benefits:
1) Cleaner shop and lungs. 2) Brighter lighting. 3) *Greatly* improved fire protection. 4) Over and done with quickly.
Downside:
1) Can't buy that new ______ (next tool purchase) until next year.
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wrote:

2) much harder to add and rearrange shop circuits, lights, and overhead dust collection pipe. 3) Loss of storage space 4) an even lower ceiling than I have now 5) the heat, plumbing and house wiring travel along a 8" x 12" center beam. Sheeting this area in would kill a lot of space.
The sound isn't an issue, as the house is a cape, with our "den" on the top floor. If I'm in the shop, she's two floors up, where her work, the computers, and the TV's are. Around here, I really doubt I could get a contractor before spring or summer anyway. New construction and remodeling are absolutely flat out, just getting a return phone call from anyone I'd actually want to hire is tough.
If I had the height, I'd put a drop ceiling in.
Believe me, I've thought about my lungs, which is why I have a suit, respirator, and (50) 40 gallon trash bags for the insulation ready to go when my hand is healed. It will be interesting to see if my bicycling gets better when the insulation is gone. <G>
Our plan is actually to move in a few years, as we want more property, so I don't really want to get crazy remodeling as a real shop down there. I figure if the buyer hassles me about the 8 years of added circuits in the basement, I'll simply offer to pull them out.
Thanks for the excellent ideas, though. In hindsight, I should have done the ceiling first, but things kind of develop a life of their own as time goes on.
Barry
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Test complete, Inflammable I believe. Burns when fire is applied stops when you take it away.
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